These two volumes with 91 superb, originally hand-colored folio engravings is Georg Wolfgang Knorrs monumental work, Deliciae Naturae Selectae Oder Auserlefenes Natüralien-Cabinet or Selected Delights of Nature, or the Exquisite Collector’s Cabinet. The work was published in Dordrecht by Abraham Blusse and Son in 1771.
The volume is bound in contemporary calf-backed speckled boards, title labels on spines, and list of subscribers. There is a hand-colored engraved frontispiece and 91 hand-colored engravings including one double-page. The engravings are by or after Knorr, B. R. Dietschlin, G. F. Dietsch, and others.
“It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that the beauty of some of Knorr’s illustrations exceeds that of their models and that in all cases the artist’s eye has transformed neutral, natural objects into permanent, formal aspects of humanism. The detail and accuracy of Knorr’s engravings not only made possible zoological classification but firmly established the distinction between fossils of organic origin and sports of nature.” (DSB)
Knorr was a German paleontologist, painter, draftsman, engraver, collector, and art dealer. He learned engraving from Leonhard Blanc and Martin Tyroff and worked on the illustrations in Jacob Scheuchzers Physica Sacra.